Your Facebook business page now has the potential to share branded content, after the social media network recently made changes to its branded content policy.
The changes mean all business pages, not just verified ones, will be able to post branded content from third party sources.
In announcing the change, Facebook said it wanted to open up the capability to share branded content more widely:
Any Page can now submit an application at this link to gain access to the branded content tool. We are also starting to roll out the branded content tool to unverified Pages that we predict are likely to use it. Pages who can share branded content will get a notification when they log in to Facebook, and will see the branded content tool in the post composer in the form of a handshake icon.
The new policy is an update on the branded content announcement Facebook made last year that saw it allow verified pages to share branded content.
While there is some monetisation potential for running branded content on your Facebook page, the real benefit in branded content partnerships comes from the opportunity to strengthen your Facebook content network.
Creating a strong partner network in order to share social media content, including branded content, allows your Facebook page to promote the products and services of allied businesses that may be of interest to your customers, and works reciprocally by having your content shared on the pages of businesses in your network.
This can help with boosting your audience reach, while also targeting market segments your content may not ordinarily reach.
For example, as a fashion retailer you might look to share and feature the branded content of the labels you stock in your store. This is especially useful for smaller businesses that may not have the resources or funds to fully exploit their social media presence in the same way big brands can do. It builds your network and increases the amount of content you can post.
Branded content is more than just an ad. However, the potential of branded content has often been grossly oversold. As this article at the Harvard Business Review points out:
It turns out that consumers have little interest in the content that brands churn out. Very few people want it in their feed. Most view it as clutter — as brand spam. When Facebook realised this, it began charging companies to get “sponsored” content into the feeds of people who were supposed to be their fans.
Like any content, branded content needs to serve a purpose and connect with its audience. It doesn’t have to go viral; it just needs to connect with the people you want to reach.
The reality is so many businesses are now also publishers via their social media channels. Social is not going anywhere and it provides a fantastic way to reach and engage with customers. Creating content partnerships with allied businesses can help diversify and increase the content you publish on your page.
This new policy change from Facebook is an acknowledgement that branded content is an important part of the publishing mix on Facebook. If you’re an SME, you should be looking at creating strong network partnerships across your social channels as a means to share and boost content, including branded.